Plan for a food re­call

The Orchardist - - >>in Focus -

In some cases where there is a food safety prob­lem in food that has been dis­trib­uted this may lead to a food re­call. Pro­duce dis­trib­u­tors, pro­duc­ers and whole­salers should be pre­pared by hav­ing a food re­call plan in place.

In­for­ma­tion on de­vel­op­ing a food re­call plan and tem­plates for use are avail­able on the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI) web­site here:

http://www.food­safety.govt.nz/re­call­swarn­ings/de­vel­op­ing-your-plan/.

the sci­en­tific ev­i­dence is in­con­clu­sive, then as­sume that it is a risk, and take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion to con­trol the risk.

Once a decision to re­call is made, it may be ei­ther a trade re­call or with­drawal or a con­sumer level re­call. A trade level re­call in­volves food prod­uct that has not been avail­able for di­rect pur­chase by the gen­eral pub­lic. It re­moves an un­safe food prod­uct from the dis­tri­bu­tion chain, for ex­am­ple, dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres and whole­salers. It may also in­volve re­cov­er­ing the food from hos­pi­tals, restau­rants and other cater­ing es­tab­lish­ments, and out­lets that sell food man­u­fac­tured for im­me­di­ate con­sump­tion.

A con­sumer re­call is more ex­ten­sive than a trade re­call. It re­cov­ers the food prod­uct from all points in the pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion net­work, in­clud­ing any af­fected prod­uct in the pos­ses­sion of con­sumers. There­fore, the pub­lic must be in­formed of a con­sumer re­call.

For a step-by-step check­list on what to do in a re­call, see the 'Con­duct­ing a food re­call' page here:

http://www.food­safety. govt.nz/re­calls-warn­ings/con­duct­ing-a-re­call/.

The chief ex­ec­u­tive of MPI can or­der a re­call un­der the Food Act 2014 and can also make priv­i­leged state­ments to pro­tect con­sumers and to in­form the pub­lic. Both re­calls and priv­i­leged state­ments are pub­lic state­ments.

On oc­ca­sion if the food has been ex­ported, MPI is re­quired to no­tify over­seas em­bassies in af­fected re­gions. If this is a se­ri­ous food safety in­ci­dent or likely to im­pact on trade re­la­tions, MPI will ini­ti­ate an in­ci­dent re­sponse team. An in­dus­try li­ai­son con­tact will be in­cluded in the re­sponse team.

Re­call plans should be tested at least an­nu­ally by car­ry­ing out a ‘mock re­call' to en­sure their ef­fec­tive op­er­a­tion.

It is im­por­tant to keep up to date with any new or re­vised Re­calls & Warn­ings in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing re­quire­ments and up­com­ing changes. You can sub­scribe to MPI up­dates us­ing the fol­low­ing link: http://www.food­safety.govt.nz/feeds/.

Food safety prob­lems can arise even within the best-man­aged food business. “Re­call plans should be tested at least an­nu­ally by car­ry­ing out a ‘mock re­call’ to en­sure their ef­fec­tive op­er­a­tion.”

A re­call plan should in­clude: main­tained and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion.

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